Top Ad
I DIG Radio
www.idigradio.com
Listen live to the best music from around the world!
I DIG Style
www.idigstyle.com
Learn about the latest fashion styles and more...

NBA bubble intel: Rockets-Mavs showdown highlights Friday schedule

Written by 
Published in Breaking News
Friday, 31 July 2020 12:21

The pre-restart training camp Mike D'Antoni so eagerly anticipated for the Houston Rockets -- a team remodeled midseason with a drastic shift in philosophy to microball -- never really materialized. Due to late arrivals, including both of the team's superstars, as well as Austin Rivers' excused exit and reentry, the Rockets never had their full roster available for a practice in the Walt Disney World campus outside Orlando, Florida.

Hey, at least Houston was healthy headed into its final scrimmage. Unfortunately, that didn't last long, as Eric Gordon had to be helped off the court after he sprained his ankle in the first half Tuesday, an injury that could sideline the Rockets' third-leading scorer for the entire eight-game seeding schedule.

"Everybody is saying two or three weeks," D'Antoni said a day later. "The ankle will tell you when he's ready."

The Dallas Mavericks are familiar with that feeling. Luka Doncic's historically productive sophomore season was twice interrupted by sprains of his right ankle, which needed several weeks of rest to fully recover. That was the silver lining of the NBA's pandemic-caused suspension for the Mavs.

Doncic, who had also been nursing a sprained left thumb and sprained right wrist before the hiatus, arrived in Florida with a clean bill of health and fresh legs. He has that bit of extra burst back, as he did early in the season, when he looked like a legitimate MVP candidate (averaging 30.4 points, 9.9 rebounds and 9.3 assists in 24 games before his first ankle sprain).

A healthy Doncic, now surrounded by four 3-point shooters with Seth Curry solidifying his spot in the starting lineup, makes Dallas a dangerous team. Especially if the Mavs can climb upward out of the Western Conference's No. 7 seed, which probably would mean avoiding a quarterfinals matchup with the LA Clippers.

One of the teams directly above Dallas in the standings? The Rockets.

That puts a little extra oomph on the restart opener for the Interstate 45 rivals. As much as the Rockets want to treat the seeding schedule as tune-up time, slipping to seventh could have serious consequences. -- Tim MacMahon

Here's the latest on the standings, the games to watch Friday and Saturday, plus everything you need to know. Check back here for highlights and updates throughout the day.

PAST BUBBLE INTEL: July 30


The latest buzz

Jamal Crawford won't debut today

After he hadn't played all season, Jamal Crawford was signed by the Brooklyn Nets as a replacement player for the seeding games. However, Crawford didn't play in any of the Nets three scrimmages and was declared out for conditioning purposes on the team's injury report heading into Friday's game against the Orlando Magic. Crawford last played in the NBA on April 9, 2019 when he scored 51 points for the Phoenix Suns in a loss to the Dallas Mavericks -- a game more notably remembered as the home finale for Dirk Nowitzki.

play
1:00

Crawford is untouchable beyond the arc

Jamal Crawford is unguardable beyond the 3-point line as he torches Nets teammate Rodions Kurucs in practice.

Friday's must-see games

Boston Celtics vs. Milwaukee Bucks | 6:30 p.m. ET on ESPN

The Bucks enter the restart 6.5 games up on the Raptors for the top seed in the East, meaning Milwaukee doesn't have much to play for. Still, these next eight games will give Mike Budenholzer's squad a chance to warm up for the playoffs. It's hard to remember now, but the Bucks went into the hiatus in something of a slump, having lost four of five games to fall off a 70-win pace. But Giannis Antetokounmpo was banged up then. The reigning and likely repeat MVP is healthy and ready to go.

play
0:53

Williams makes bold prediction about Tatum

Jay Williams predicts Jayson Tatum will take a huge step forward after the restart, saying he will be a top-10 player when the playoffs end.

Houston Rockets vs. Dallas Mavericks | 9 p.m. ET on ESPN

The Rockets' small-ball experiment remains one of the most fascinating storylines to watch in the bubble. Houston has only two players taller than 6-foot-8 on its roster and those two -- Tyson Chandler and Bruno Caboclo -- have combined to play only 31 games for the Rockets this season. Houston saw some early success with its small lineup but had lost four of five before the season was suspended. Two of those losses came without Eric Gordon, who could miss the next two weeks after spraining his ankle in the Rockets' final scrimmage.

Additional games

Full scoreboard for July 31


Play-in watch

The non-ESPN games on Friday all feature teams playing for their playoff lives. The Orlando Magic and Brooklyn Nets would be the last seeds in the East if the playoffs started today. The Washington Wizards are chasing them, but need to make up 1.5 games to force a play-in. The Phoenix Suns need to make up 2.5 games in the West. Both the Sacramento Kings and San Antonio Spurs are on the outside looking in as they face each other Friday. And the Portland Trail Blazers get the first crack at the current 8-seed in the West, the Memphis Grizzlies.

Eastern Conference
7
. Brooklyn Nets | 30-34 (.469)
8. Orlando Magic | 30-35 (.462)
9. Washington Wizards | 24-40 (.375) | 5.5 GB

Western Conference
8
. Memphis Grizzlies | 32-33 (0.492)
9. Portland Trail Blazers | 29-37 (0.439) | 3.5 GB
10. Sacramento Kings | 28-36 (0.438) | 3.5 GB
11. New Orleans Pelicans | 28-37 (0.431) | 4.0 GB
12. San Antonio Spurs | 27-36 (0.429) | 4 GB
13. Phoenix Suns | 26-39 (0.4) | 6 GB

Full standings | Playoff matchups


Saturday's must-see games

Utah Jazz vs. Oklahoma City Thunder | 3:30 p.m. ET on ESPN

The game that started, and really, stopped, it all. After a four-month delay, the Thunder and Jazz finally play. When we left off, this game was about to be for the current 4-seed in the Western Conference. And it maintains those big implications as both teams are firmly in the mix for a top-four seed. It's an important game -- for a lot of reasons.

New Orleans Pelicans vs. LA Clippers | 6 p.m. ET on ESPN

Both teams are 0-1 in the bubble, and in both cases lost tight, toss-up games. The Pelicans looked excellent, even with Zion Williamson's minute restriction -- for about 3 ½ quarters. The Clippers did the same thing, except they just couldn't find enough offense down the stretch. The Pelicans are more desperate than the Clippers here to get their first restart win, though, because there aren't many chances available.

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Toronto Raptors | 8:30pm ET on ESPN

After beating the Clippers on opening night, the Lakers get the defending champs in another high-level matchup. There's a lot of talk about how the already-great chemistry of the Raptors has only strengthened in the bubble, and while they're an Eastern Conference threat, they're still seen as somewhat of a dark horse. There's an opportunity to make a strong statement here against the presumed title favorite.

Additional games

Full scoreboard for Aug. 1


Analysis and intel

The best and biggest moments from the NBA's thrilling return

From player protests to renewed rivalries, our NBA experts react to the first night of restart action.

What Jusuf Nurkic gained from losing a year to injury

A horrific leg injury sidelined the Trail Blazers center for 16 months, but he says he believes the time away made him a better player -- and person.

The NBA bubble is a grand experiment in epidemiology

We'll see how technology, policy and human behavior influence an epidemic -- and what we can do to stop it.

Read 33 times

2 comments

  • website host
    Comment Link posted by website host
    Monday, 10 August 2020 23:17

    Excellent post. I used to be checking continuously this
    weblog and I am impressed! Very helpful information specifically the final part
    :) I maintain such info much. I was seeking this particular information for a very long time.
    Thanks and best of luck.

  • webhosting
    Comment Link posted by webhosting
    Monday, 10 August 2020 11:59

    As the admin of this site is working, no hesitation very quickly it will be well-known, due to its feature
    contents.

Leave a comment

Soccer

La Liga in chaos as Barca have COVID positive

La Liga in chaos as Barca have COVID positive

A Barcelona player has tested positive for coronavirus, the club confirmed on Wednesday, as Spanish...

Lopetegui: Man Utd biggest team in world

Lopetegui: Man Utd biggest team in world

Sevilla manager Julen Lopetegui has said Manchester United are "the biggest team in the world" ahead...

Liverpool Keep or Dump: Should the champions sell captain Henderson?

Liverpool Keep or Dump: Should the champions sell captain Henderson?

The old sports trope whereby staying at the top is tougher than getting to the top might not apply t...

Basketball

Sources: Pacers' McMillan agrees to extension

Sources: Pacers' McMillan agrees to extension

Indiana Pacers coach Nate McMillan has agreed on a contract extension, league sources told ESPN.McMi...

'Respect': Dame dazzles with 61 in critical win

'Respect': Dame dazzles with 61 in critical win

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Damian Lillard launched from 33 feet and could only watch and wait as the...

Baseball

Which new MLB rules do we love and which should never be seen again?

Which new MLB rules do we love and which should never be seen again?

The 2020 Major League Baseball season was going to be remarkable from the get-go for a number of pro...

Rockies' Bard earns 1st big league save since '11

Rockies' Bard earns 1st big league save since '11

Daniel Bard's save drought is finally over after the righty reliever fanned Arizona Diamondbacks pin...

Sports Leagues

  • FIFA

    Fédération Internationale de Football Association
  • NBA

    National Basketball Association
  • ATP

    Association of Tennis Professionals
  • MLB

    Major League Baseball
  • ITTF

    International Table Tennis Federation

Sponsored Links

I DIG® Newspapers
www.idignewspapers.com
I Dig® Newspapers, stay up to date with the latest news from around the world.
I DIG® Casino
www.idigcasinos.com
I Dig® Casino, explore our online casino games, play a wide range of free slots and casino games at our online casino today.
I DIG® Radio
www.idigradio.com
I Dig® Radio HD is the only place in the internet where you can find free, super high bit rate internet radio stations from around the world. On I Dig® Radio HD you can find free radio stations streaming at 256kbps.

About Us

I Dig® is a leading global brand that makes it more enjoyable to surf the internet, conduct transactions and access, share, and create information.  Today I Dig® attracts millions of users every month.

 

Phone: (800) 737. 6040
Fax: (800) 825 5558
Website: www.idig.com
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Affiliated